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‘A man with power and strength’

Longtime Dixon volunteer, Shaw CFO dies at 75

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
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Phil Metka

WASHINGTON – Phil Metka, former chief financial officer with Shaw Media and a longtime fixture in the Dixon volunteer community, died Wednesday at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He was 75.

Metka, who received his degree as a certified public accountant from Northern Illinois University, retired in July 2007 after 27 years of service to Shaw Newspapers, now Shaw Media, and to the city of Dixon, where he had lived since joining the company in 1980.

Tom Shaw, chief executive officer of Shaw Media, said this was a tough day at our company offices. “Tears of sorrow, as well as smiles of fond memories, abounded in the offices where those of us who labored closest with Phil still do.”

Shaw remembers Metka as an individual who exercised his authority in wise, considerate, compassionate, and responsible expressions of Biblical meekness ... that is, strength under discipline.

“Quite honestly,” Shaw reflected, “I can’t say how Phil was able to be the leader that he was. I believe all motivation and behavior is quite complicated and deeply personal. But, I do know what I observed.

“We saw a man with power and strength who put the good of the company, and that of others, ahead of his own interest. All of us are better for it today because of the time we had with Phil. He was a great mentor.”

Phil was active in countless civic organizations. He was past president of the Dixon Petunia Festival Corp. and of the Dixon Rotary Club, where he earned the Paul Harris Fellow Award. He also was involved with the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce, the Dixon Athletic Booster Club and CASA’s 15th Judicial Circuit.

Phil and Nancy, his wife of 52 years, moved to Washington after his retirement. While there, his passion for community service continued. He volunteered at Threads, Hope and Love in Washington and was a member of the Washington Rotary Club, as well as St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

He was an avid golfer, and a big sports fan in general.

Nancy survives, along with his daughter, Stacey (Jeff) Little, also of Washington, and his son, Dan (Kelly) Metka of Woodstock, Georgia; seven grandchildren, Brittany Metka, Stefanie (Alan) El-Darazi, Jacy Little, Taylor Little, Baylie Little, Lawson Metka, and Phillip Metka; one great-granddaughter, Patricia Bick; and two brothers, Jimmy (Lennie) Metka of Philadelphia, and Joseph (Emily) Metka of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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